How to Be 100 and Still Practice Karate

Is there a connection between ‘Okinawa diet’ and regular karate practice?

Higaonna Kanryo, born in 1853. He played a significant role in the development and popularity of karate, leaving a lasting legacy until his passing in 1916. Funakoshi Gichin, the revered founder of Shotokan Karate, graced this world with his presence for an impressive span of 88 years. Throughout his long and illustrious life, he too left an indelible mark on the martial arts community, shaping the course of karate as we know it today.

Both remained healthy, clear minded and active in their golden years.

The Okinawan diet, renowned for its health benefits and longevity, is a key component in the blending of regular karate practice. The people of Okinawa, Japan, have long been admired for their remarkable health and vitality, with a disproportionately high number of centenarians among their population. Central to their diet is an emphasis on fresh, locally sourced ingredients, abundant in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean proteins. This nutrient-rich approach nourishes the body, providing the energy and stamina necessary for rigorous karate training.

The Okinawan diet is not only focused on the quality of food but also on the manner of consumption. Okinawans practice a concept called “Hara Hachi Bu,” which means eating until they are 80% full. This mindful approach to eating helps maintain a healthy weight and prevents overeating, contributing to overall well-being and longevity.

In addition to the Okinawan diet, the blending of regular karate practice is essential for achieving optimal physical and mental fitness. Karate is a dynamic martial art that combines physical strength, flexibility, cardiovascular endurance, and mental discipline. Regular training in karate helps develop core strength, improve balance and coordination, increase cardiovascular fitness, and enhance mental focus and resilience.

The combination of the Okinawan diet and regular karate practice creates a harmonious synergy, promoting holistic health and well-being. The nutrient-dense foods fuel the body, providing the necessary nutrients for physical exertion during karate practice, while the physical and mental discipline cultivated through karate training reinforces mindful eating habits and overall wellness. This integrated approach not only enhances physical fitness but also nurtures mental clarity, emotional balance, and a deep sense of connection to oneself and the world around us.

In conclusion, the Okinawan diet and the blending of regular karate practice create a powerful alliance, offering a holistic path towards improved health, longevity, and personal growth. By embracing these transformative practices, individuals can embark on a journey of self-discovery, self-improvement, and a harmonious union of mind, body, and spirit.

Chibariyo ~ C.Borkowski

  • photo of Mr. Peter Mason who is 88 years of age, and attends regular class at the NKS Midtown dojo.

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